Almost every village in Provence has a weekly market day (Marché) where a street, parking lot, or square is filled with stalls selling every imaginable product – food, candies, wine, olive oils and vinegars, shoes, linens, and more. Eygalières, though tiny, is no exception. Each Friday, from 8am until 1pm, our main street is closed down, and stalls line both sides from the church at one end to beyond the town hall at the other.
We made our brief list of things we needed for the mas and headed into town around 10:30. Parking is always problematic, but we found a spot at the clinic for our car, and – armed with two shopping sacks from the Intermarché – plowed into the market. Bev made an immediate stop at a booth just off the main street that sells nuts and candies, and – after tasting numerous selections – bought a bag of roasted peanuts covered with a candy glaze. I headed for the cheese monger to replenish our cheese drawer, choosing a 24-month old Comté, an aged Emmenthal, and a half-wheel of Reblochon. Fighting the temptation (and glare from Bev) to purchase more, we headed up the street. There is a stall that normally has wonderful sausages, but, this day, their offerings were meager, so we strolled past. The big produce stall was jammed with every nature of fresh vegetable and fruit. We fought the temptation to buy violet artichokes, white asparagus, mushrooms, etc., and stuck to our list: shallots, onions, potatoes, and an herb bouquet of thyme and bay.
We ran into our friend Alex from Bistro l’Aubergine carrying a dozen small cans of olive oil. He told us that this was the best in the region, made by a friend from Eygalières, so we bought some to try. We said we would be coming by in the coming days for another meal and planned to put more food photos up on TripAdvisor for him. The latter delighted him, and he told Bev that her photos were the best.
Moving on, we cruised past stalls with plants, herbs, spices, paella, clothing, linens and more. I lost Bev for a bit, but she reappeared with two pairs of sandals (Espadrilles?) which she had gotten for a song. At the butcher, we were tempted by some excellent cuts of beef, but ended up just getting some slices of jambon blanc for sandwiches. The final stop was for a baguette and a sacrastain, which looks like a baguette made from puff pastry, stuffed with almond paste.
Exhausted by our shopping chores, we sat at a table in the Café du Centre with a carafe of rosé and people watched. Before long the market was winding down, the vendors packing up their goods, the crowd thinning. We had made reservations at the Bistro d’Eygalières, so strolled down to the corner and sat at a nice shaded table. They close for the winter months, and had only just re-opened the day before, so we were unsure what to expect. We had a kir while perusing the menu, and were surprised to see that there was no a la carte selection, just three different menus at 60, 80, and 100 Euros – pretty steep. All had the same main course (veal), and there were only two appetizers to choose from. The food was good, perfectly prepared, beautifully presented, and included a delightful amusée bouche, but the portions were miniscule, and we couldn’t help noting that other places – such as Potager du Mas – serve much better food at lower prices. To cap things off, when our bill arrived, we were told that their credit card system was not functional yet and we would have to pay in cash. While we did so, a gentleman at a nearby table replied that he did not have enough cash. He was told that there was an ATM 200 metres up the street. He was not pleased. While we have always enjoyed the occasional meal here, the excessively high prices and limited menu mean we won’t be back…at least on this stay.
Bidding goodbye to the market and our cash, we headed back to the mas to unload our bag.
Guy Knox, the property manager, stopped by to pick up the remaining rent we owed, and the two of us again tried to set up the Sky Box for the TV. In due course we were able to determine that the TV was okay, the cables good, but no signal was coming in from the dish. Guy clambered up on the roof (which is about 1,200 feet high) and checked the signal to confirm that it was the dish that was the problem while Bev and I waited to hear a loud “kaplop” sound which would mean that Guy had fallen off the roof.
Safely back inside, Guy sat down for a glass of rosé and some of the candied peanuts that Bev had bought at the market. We caught up on all that was new in the area, how his business was going (well), and shared a few laughs. Then he was off and we listened to music (via Jango on the computer) before turning in.